Go Bag

Because I'm going to be doing hand work on these pieces, I'll be bringing them to work with me and working on them instead of reading at lunch time. 

Doing handwork like this in public always feels a bit uncomfortable for me.  It seems like showing off somehow, but I also feel criticized (without anyone ever saying a word!) and want to offer an explanation to anyone who happens to glance at it: "Oh, this is just the beginning – it's going to look much better in the end!" Or talk about why I'm doing it as if I need to. 

I mean I should be saying to myself "Who cares", and mostly, I do … or try to Lol 

It's so strange that I feel like that sometimes when I know that in truth, most people couldn't give a flying flip what I'm doing and are completely uninterested, and that's somehow worse.

Hand work, fiber work, textile work - whatever you call it - it's viewed as "women's work"; and generally people don't value it (or us), so they dismiss it out of hand.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker some months back. She said "Oh your boss is so nice, I really like him." I agreed that he seemed to be nice but that I didn't really know him. She thought that was strange, and we had a conversation about how I keep myself to myself at work, don't share my personal life, etc. and how she does the opposite.

She said that she forces her boss to listen to her when she talks about her running or her fitness goals, even when she can tell that he doesn't want to hear it (!); and she said "You should talk to him about your hobbies."

Although I'd just told her I don't talk about my personal life, I didn't want to seem rude by repeating that, so I said "Oh, I don't think he's interested in hearing about my sewing."

She laughed and said "No, NO one wants to hear about your sewing.  I sure don't!" and she left!

I had to laugh to myself because there I was worried about coming off as rude to HER; but it made me a bit sad to think that it showed how much these skills are devalued, even by other women.

On the heels of the quilting and knitting "revolution" of the first decade of the 2000's, it would seem that people are turning back to their sewing machines again, judging by sewing studios that are opening in my city, and the business that offer rental time on sewing machines to the general public.  

That's hopeful, but just to end this on a gloomy note: it would seem that these skills are nevertheless becoming archaic and rather quaint.

My evidence: the autocorrect on my phone and tablet continually change "sew" to "see", no matter how many times I tell it, "No, I really DO want to say "sew" (I mean, YEARS of this!); and did you hear that Monopoly wants to get rid of the thimble as "no one knows what it is"?


So I'll sign off with 



Kit Lang


  1. :) The few times i've stitched on the way to work, i got either "look away fasts", or a truly wonderful experience: I was finishing one of my small moons on the train and the lady sitting beside me started talking about what i was doing, asking intelligent questions and truly interested. After she asked me how much i would sell it for, another woman sitting across from me sniffed and said derisively “$XXX for *that*???”, whereupon my seat mate smiled, leaned over and put her hand on the woman’s knee and sweetly but edged said “yes, isn’t it awful how we undervalue handwork?” HUZZAH! #somepeoplegetwhyhandworkisvaluable

  2. What a tacky thing to say to someone! Wow! I love that you have a go bag- I'm one that always has a hand project in tow- often the only time I have to work on it is in the small minutes that are free. I say stitch with pride at lunch! Show your handwork to the world.

  3. Love that little story from Arlee above!

    I never bang on about my art at my day job. I keep my life very compartmentalised. Most of my colleagues haven't a clue about my textile art or my blog and I'm happy to keep it that way. It's not that I'm not proud of my art. It's just that my worlds are very different. If someone wanted to talk about my art I would engage but I won't instigate the conversation.

  4. Great post today! And Arlee's story, truly a gem. My "take-along" projects are usually knitting or some simple handwork...when I have had a more art-cloth type of work with me more looks and strange questions..I like to just do my work in solitude, even around others. Strange how that more private practice with stitch is, it seems, usual.